Ian Loader is a co-investigator on this project led by Dr Evi Girling at Keele University.
At the heart of our research is the question of what it means to feel secure in Britain today and more specifically what makes people feel safe or unsafe in their daily lives and in the places in which the live. We hope to capture important aspects of security and insecurity in contemporary life and inform public debate about the qualities people seek in crime control and security in democratic societies.
In this project we investigate how people living in one English town, Macclesfield in Cheshire, talk about and act towards a range of threats that they regard as impinging upon their safety. What makes them feel unsafe and how do they respond to the things that worry them? When people encounter such problems they often hope to see action on someone's part to address them (the police, local authorities, schools, central Government, private security providers, parents, for example). What do differently-situated people take to be the sources of security and insecurity in that town, and how do they act towards them? What do people worry about, talk about, seek protection from, avoid or manage today? What demands do they make upon responsible authorities, and what happens if those are not met?